One is long life expectancy, which in principle should give prospective inventors the years necessary to accumulate technical knowledge, as well as the patience and security to embark on long development programs yielding delayed rewards. Hence the greatly increased life expectancy brought by modern medicine may have contributed to the recently accelerating pace of invention.
Note: this is non-sense as he should know
geographic connectedness has exerted both positive and negative effects on the evolution of technology. As a result, in the very long run, technology may have developed most rapidly in regions with moderate connectedness, neither too high nor too low. Technology’s course over the last 1,000 years in China, Europe, and possibly the Indian subcontinent exemplifies those net effects of high, moderate, and low connectedness, respectively.
Note: Connectedness seems to have been important for technological development for thousands of years.
People’s image of science is unfortunately often based on physics and a few other fields with similar methodologies. Scientists in those fields tend to be ignorantly disdainful of fields to which those methodologies are inappropriate and which must therefore seek other methodologies—such as my own research areas of ecology and evolutionary biology. But recall that the word “science” means “knowledge” (from the Latin scire, “to know,” and scientia, “knowledge”), to be obtained by whatever methods are most appropriate to the particular field. Hence I have much empathy with students...
Note: False physics analogy is often a key problem for methodological legitimacy in social science...
Historical sciences are concerned with chains of proximate and ultimate causes. In most of physics and chemistry the concepts of “ultimate cause,” “purpose,” and “function” are meaningless, yet they are essential to understanding living systems in general and human activities in particular.
Note: On causality in "historical sciences"